May 1, 2009 (by Eric L. Palmer) - Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG) has signed a contract with the Norwegian Defence Procurement Division for the first phase in the development of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).
The contract has a financial framework of MNOK 166, and is scheduled for completion within 18 months.
The Joint Strike Missile will be a newly developed anti surface warfare and land attack missile that will be adapted to meet an uncovered operational need on the F-35 Lightning II - Joint Strike Fighter (JSF
). As the missile will also lend itself to deployment on other types of aircraft, KONGSBERG sees a significant potential for the later phases of the F-35 program.
As part of the JSM development program, the Group will be developing and testing new operative functions that can be used later to upgrade KONGSBERG's Naval Strike Missile (NSM). The NSM is now in production for the Armed Forces of Poland
Lockheed Martin and KONGSBERG signed a joint-marketing agreement for the JSM in 2007. This helped LM in its marketing efforts by being able to show off a weapon that had its roots in naval strike alongside the F-35. The idea for this missile as an internal carry F-35 weapon was announced back in 2005 as a KONGSBERG and Norwegian Air Force initiative.
Australia has collaborated with Norway in this project to help define specifications, operational requirements and to provide some funding.
The JSM will have a 125kg warhead. Guidance will include GPS
assisted inertial navigation, terrain-reference navigation, a data link, imaging infrared homing, and a target database. The JSM will also have some low observable qualities.